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Old 04-14-2009, 07:01 AM   #26
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

Michael, you are probably right about the coordinated attack thing possibily costing me...it is always a concern.

It is interesting when you have three uke you are not used to working with and you have to go to on a set of assumptions about what will occur in the situation.

My philosophy, and it has served me well for the most part, is to get ahead of their attack and disrupt it before they can launch.

philosophy aside....

I believe uke should be hesitant to attack, (I would not say "afraid" but hesitant.)

My job is to disrupt, get ahead of the attack and to cause them to re-adjust there pattern.

I do agree that I could have been less clashing, especially at the end as I begin to lean forward and to engage...it is something I have to work on.

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Old 04-14-2009, 07:19 AM   #27
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

oops, let me clarify, the uke, two of them I train with in our dojo all the time (Clark and Larry), I should have said, "I have not done Randori with the three of them at one time".

I simply meant that I had no idea what to expect from the three of them together (hence, Randori!).

Poor choice of words! Sorry.

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Old 04-14-2009, 12:04 PM   #28
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Szczepan,
I think there is a misconception here about what I mean and how we use it. We use it all the time and it works well. But I'd have to show you what I mean, video won't necessarily do it. You need to see it live when the decisions are spontaneous.
.
Hi George,
I'm pretty busy now, so only short remark: your ukes are attacking one after another - it is not really simultanous atack at all and irimi is not crucial. They also are not cooperating with each other while attacking.
That's why you don't see going back as a false concept.

Nagababa

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Old 04-14-2009, 03:26 PM   #29
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Michael, you are probably right about the coordinated attack thing possibily costing me...it is always a concern.

It is interesting when you have three uke you are not used to working with and you have to go to on a set of assumptions about what will occur in the situation.

My philosophy, and it has served me well for the most part, is to get ahead of their attack and disrupt it before they can launch.

philosophy aside....

I believe uke should be hesitant to attack, (I would not say "afraid" but hesitant.)

My job is to disrupt, get ahead of the attack and to cause them to re-adjust there pattern.

I do agree that I could have been less clashing, especially at the end as I begin to lean forward and to engage...it is something I have to work on.
Well I agree Kevin that is one of the primary goals of Randori but more important to me is how well Nage performs under physical duress... The Pace of Randori should be as such that Nage must move and execute. Randori is a test of Nage's Martial Awareness and Focus under Physical and Emotional Duress.

There was a vid here a while back of Matsuoka Sensei doing Randori and is close to what I am talking about....Some folks panned it as being a little too coreographed but it gives you a good idea of what Advanced Level Randori looks like

http://www.ikazuchi.com/?page_id=361

AS to SJ and others point about coordinated attacks Well that is another goal of Randori but lets be realistic here... The Uke's live to attack again LOL The trick with that kind of Randori is how to practice taking Ukes "out" in the most realistic manner possible while staying within safe Randori practice

Here is where "Aiki" plays a real part...I have been "hit" by a few of our Senior Level Yudansha and even though it was half or three quarter "speed" I am not sure I would like to experiance it "for real" LOL

That to me is what Kevin is reffering to as Uke "being hesitant to attack." LOL

William Hazen
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:00 AM   #30
Michael Varin
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

William,

I had not seen that video before, but it looks like it must be a few years old.

It was undoubtedly a little choreographed (sometimes maybe a lot choreographed). I think the editing added to that feel (great video, by the way). It's almost too bad, because Matsuoka is excellent when it comes to randori. I have seen him do completely unchoreographed randori that look ten times better than what was shown in that video.

I had the opportunity to train with him. That was several years ago, but at the time he had a profound effect on my approach to randori. He has almost an uncanny feel for the group dynamics. He always deals with the group as a whole, and never independently.

In fact, Seagal's guys were way ahead of the pack when it comes to randori.

When referring to this as advanced level randori, I think it is important to bear in mind that he is dealing with totally cooperative uke. I am in no way knocking this, but, to have an intelligent discussion, we have to establish it as a fact.

There are at least two higher levels: 1) where uke have the intention to bring nage down; 2) where uke can respond to nage's attempts to throw in any way, including using "techniques" of their own.

In my opinion, randori with cooperative uke is much more of a mental exercise than a physical one. The uke aren't resisting the throws, so execution is only a minor part. The key is in opening your awareness, letting go of preconceived notions, and allowing the mind to be fluid.

I believe it is so important for uke to attack simultaneously, because there is no need to develop those abilities when the attacks are a continuous string of separate events.

A note on hesitancy of uke: I absolutely challenge the idea that you want a hesitant uke. A herky-jerky uke is not what you want. You want uke that are coming cleanly for your center and almost being invited in. Uke should not be aware of his demise until it is upon him. This is one of the reasons for a lack of aggressive postures in aikido.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:00 PM   #31
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

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William,

I had not seen that video before, but it looks like it must be a few years old.

It was undoubtedly a little choreographed (sometimes maybe a lot choreographed). I think the editing added to that feel (great video, by the way). It's almost too bad, because Matsuoka is excellent when it comes to randori. I have seen him do completely unchoreographed randori that look ten times better than what was shown in that video.

I had the opportunity to train with him. That was several years ago, but at the time he had a profound effect on my approach to randori. He has almost an uncanny feel for the group dynamics. He always deals with the group as a whole, and never independently.

In fact, Seagal's guys were way ahead of the pack when it comes to randori.

When referring to this as advanced level randori, I think it is important to bear in mind that he is dealing with totally cooperative uke. I am in no way knocking this, but, to have an intelligent discussion, we have to establish it as a fact.

There are at least two higher levels: 1) where uke have the intention to bring nage down; 2) where uke can respond to nage's attempts to throw in any way, including using "techniques" of their own.

In my opinion, randori with cooperative uke is much more of a mental exercise than a physical one. The uke aren't resisting the throws, so execution is only a minor part. The key is in opening your awareness, letting go of preconceived notions, and allowing the mind to be fluid.

I believe it is so important for uke to attack simultaneously, because there is no need to develop those abilities when the attacks are a continuous string of separate events.

A note on hesitancy of uke: I absolutely challenge the idea that you want a hesitant uke. A herky-jerky uke is not what you want. You want uke that are coming cleanly for your center and almost being invited in. Uke should not be aware of his demise until it is upon him. This is one of the reasons for a lack of aggressive postures in aikido.
Excellent points to consider Michael. I too have experianced Matsuoka's Randori and completely understand your last point about the Uke not being aware of his/her demise...We call it Yurusu Budo "The Budo of Acceptance." I stand corrected on that point and completely agree with your opinion.

William Hazen
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:47 PM   #32
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

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Well I agree Kevin that is one of the primary goals of Randori but more important to me is how well Nage performs under physical duress... The Pace of Randori should be as such that Nage must move and execute. Randori is a test of Nage's Martial Awareness and Focus under Physical and Emotional Duress.

There was a vid here a while back of Matsuoka Sensei doing Randori and is close to what I am talking about....Some folks panned it as being a little too coreographed but it gives you a good idea of what Advanced Level Randori looks like

http://www.ikazuchi.com/?page_id=361

AS to SJ and others point about coordinated attacks Well that is another goal of Randori but lets be realistic here... The Uke's live to attack again LOL The trick with that kind of Randori is how to practice taking Ukes "out" in the most realistic manner possible while staying within safe Randori practice

Here is where "Aiki" plays a real part...I have been "hit" by a few of our Senior Level Yudansha and even though it was half or three quarter "speed" I am not sure I would like to experiance it "for real" LOL

That to me is what Kevin is reffering to as Uke "being hesitant to attack." LOL

William Hazen
Matsuoka Sensei's randoris during his Aiki Expo demos were by far the most impressive of anyone's, regardless of rank. Non choreographed, ukes with strong intention... really excellent. The other great randori was Kayla Feder Sensei's. She rocked! The higher ranked folks looked like they had either choreographed everything or were simply going through the motions because they were expected to do a randori.

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Old 04-18-2009, 01:13 PM   #33
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

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Hi George,
That is exactly what I expected from William, but looks he has no clue about it.

I agree at two of your concepts: working the centers, and working the edges with some restrictions.

However, working the spaces, is only possible when uke are attacking in row and not simultaneously, so in reality it is useless. Also even if they attack in row but fast and from different direction, after few throws tori is kaput, he will miss the space to going back. Also, more important, this is against of Founder teaching (aikido is irimi and atemi) So I think it must be forbiden to practice that way.

Going back to previous two concepts, it is true that tori must establish special rhythm, but on more sophisticated level, this rhythm will be broken sometimes to create some illusion in the mind of attacker. I liked your explanations about special angles that tori must respect when he moves between attackers, but this must come naturally, and should not be learned by heart. The same restriction is to train ukes for pattern working the edges. I think it is absolutely wrong to train uke like a dogs of Pavlov. It seems to me that because of such training, the martial aspect of practice is lost.

My understanding is that from one side, tori have to experience very high intensity, high physical and mental pressure (uke's job is to really put down tori and pin him as fast as possible, not only to barely touch him in friendly way) - and it is only possible when attackers do simultaneous attack. It physically forces tori to find the best angles of movement and this way he can develop a real 'feeling' of space around him and a 'feeling' of the intent of attackers.
As attackers move constantly around nage, the angles can't be defined precisely, it is dynamic interaction. So nage must feel inconciously where to move.

In the other hand, uke has to expect EVERYTHING. He must be ready to save his health/life, by doing ukemi. If you train him, he will develop some automation that is very dangerous, and will react as a robot. He will never feel intent of Nage.

If a student don't feel the intent, he can't face even a single attacker. Particularly it is true, while being attacked from behind.
So whole goal of jiu waza is missing.
I do believe it was you on this forum who said aikido isn't for self defense. Have you changed your mind or are you one of those people who have come up with a mystifying and paradoxical purpose for all of this?

What is Randori anyway? What is it for? What does it instill in us?

Does it provide us with an opportunity to test our ability to defend ourselves if attacked by multiple assailants?
Does it provide us with a chance to overcome confusion and panic by taking us out of our comfort zone?
Or does it prevent us from having a comfort zone altogether?
Is it training us in endurance?

I'm not putting down. I seriously want to know. Chime in everyone.

Northern Virginia Tenshinkai Aikido
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:16 PM   #34
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

Randori is a wide birth or interpretation actually I think. It could be designed to do all of those things. It all depends on how you define the endstate of what you are expecting out of your randori and the controls/limits you place on the situation for safety and or teaching points.

I am conducting a workshop on teaching ne waza in our dojo. I allowed a few minutes of randori today. It was not about submitting your opponent or winning, My objective was simply to allow those in the class to get a feel for the ground as it is new for many.

We talked about how fast things go and the importance of efficiency of motion, expending energy relaxation and balance.

My purpose of Randori was very simple this morning...other days it could be for other parts of the equation.

One thing is for certain, I will always include a form of it in my training...always....even if only for a few minutes. It is important!

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Old 04-18-2009, 06:43 PM   #35
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

Quote:
Paul Wallace wrote: View Post
I do believe it was you on this forum who said aikido isn't for self defense. Have you changed your mind or are you one of those people who have come up with a mystifying and paradoxical purpose for all of this?
SJ can be confusing at times. LOL Let me give your questions a shot

Quote:
What is Randori anyway? What is it for? What does it instill in us?
Randori can teach us many things but in general it is a litmus test for ones Aikido... Good Randori practice illuminates exposes and instills confidence in the Aikidoka.

Quote:
Does it provide us with an opportunity to test our ability to defend ourselves if attacked by multiple assailants?
Yes
Quote:
Does it provide us with a chance to overcome confusion and panic by taking us out of our comfort zone?
Perhaps more like work with confusion and panic...It's real easy to remain centered in practice and another to learn how to do so under duress...This is the goal of Good Randori Practice

Quote:
Or does it prevent us from having a comfort zone altogether?
Well yes it should remove ones "comfort zone" and then help that nage progressively expand it...
Quote:
Is it training us in endurance?
Yes.

Quote:
I'm not putting down. I seriously want to know. Chime in everyone.
I understand that. Unlike a few here IMO Aikido MUST BE EFFECTIVE against other Martial Arts as baseline for good practice So all the Mumbo Jumbo aside That is what Budo Practice is all about in any Martial Art. Hopefully Good Aikido builds and (as Shoji Nishio puts it) cultivates a sincere heart.

William Hazen
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:44 AM   #36
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

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Paul Wallace wrote: View Post

I'm not putting down. I seriously want to know. Chime in everyone.
As far as I am concerned Aikido Randori (multiple attacker practice) is basically a form of moving meditation. You have to be totally in the present and cannot get attached to any technique or particular outcome.

The present instant is the only time in which action may take place. The past is over and the future hasn't arrived. Randori can teach you how to see the probabilities set up by past events and present actions, allowing you to shape future outcomes. All of this has to occur in one flow, no hesitation, no over commitment to any single technique, no anticipation.

It's as close to moving meditation as you can get, I think. A few of the principles can also translate to applied self defense situations but it is really the mental side which important here not the technical. On the street a multiple attacker situation should end as quickly as possible. In randori practice it's good to let the randori go on through its many cycles so that the practitioner can seek to find his "groove" so to speak.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:35 PM   #37
Michael Varin
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

Quote:
George Ledyard wrote:
It's as close to moving meditation as you can get, I think. A few of the principles can also translate to applied self defense situations but it is really the mental side which important here not the technical.
Well said.

Quote:
George Ledyard wrote:
On the street a multiple attacker situation should end as quickly as possible. In randori practice it's good to let the randori go on through its many cycles so that the practitioner can seek to find his "groove" so to speak.
I think this is an incredibly important distinction to make.

This is one of the reasons I favor varying the degree of cooperativeness on the part of uke.

1. Simultaneous attacks pushing toward nage's center is the fundamental level. This is what I consider traditional aikido randori, which is a moving meditation. This can be done at any speed.

2. Simultaneous attacks with the intent to bring nage down and pin him. Here, uke are not counteracting any throws, they have just ratcheted up their aggressiveness.

3. Uke can work in any manner. They can use any amount of strength and resistance, any rhythm, and any techniques to subdue nage. Actually, at this level the nage/uke roles dissolve, and you get a taste (often unwelcome) of what 3-on-1 is really like.

I would argue that strikes should be purposefully de-emphasized, but can be added at your discretion. Giving a weapon (padded is best) to any one of the four or any combination of the four is also very enlightening.

None of these can ever replicate an anything goes, on the street assault. There are simply too many unknowns. The above situations could be harder or easier. In any case, I firmly believe they will make your aikido more effective and give many new insights.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:59 PM   #38
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I'm pretty busy now, so only short remark: your ukes are attacking one after another - it is not really simultanous atack at all and irimi is not crucial. They also are not cooperating with each other while attacking.
SJ,
Do you have any video of the ukes working together in randori? I do not care so much about tori, I would like to see the ukes working together. While I have seen this in other arts and encourage it in Systema I have never seen this in Aikido and would like to see it in action. Thanks.

Mark J.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:19 PM   #39
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

Quote:
Paul Wallace wrote: View Post
I do believe it was you on this forum who said aikido isn't for self defense. Have you changed your mind or are you one of those people who have come up with a mystifying and paradoxical purpose for all of this?

What is Randori anyway? What is it for? What does it instill in us?

Does it provide us with an opportunity to test our ability to defend ourselves if attacked by multiple assailants?
Does it provide us with a chance to overcome confusion and panic by taking us out of our comfort zone?
Or does it prevent us from having a comfort zone altogether?
Is it training us in endurance?

I'm not putting down. I seriously want to know. Chime in everyone.
Aikido training is in some way as doing a puzzle - there are very many elements that apparently has nothing to do with each other, but all are necessary to fulfill the goal of aikido.
But you have to look much deeper that only surface to understand it really - technical training is only the beginning - kind of preparation of body and mind for more difficult task.

Please don't use the word 'randori' - it is misleading in aikido context where there is no competition.Jiu waza is far better description.

IMO jiu waza is a very good tool to develop spontaneous execution of techniques. Nage must be pushed to his limits(on physical and psychical level) to create special state of mind that will let the techniques happen(appear). If Nage can prepare the future techniques in his mind, the goal of jiu waza is missed.

Once you enter in this desired state, the techniques will 'appear' - like O sensei described with his religious vocabulary - Kami will tell you what to do You, from your side, you have nothing to do, no intellectual effort at all.
Such spontaneous execution of techniques will be a sure sign that you are aligned with the Nature

Nagababa

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Old 04-22-2009, 09:31 PM   #40
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

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Mark Jakabcsin wrote: View Post
SJ,
Do you have any video of the ukes working together in randori? I do not care so much about tori, I would like to see the ukes working together. While I have seen this in other arts and encourage it in Systema I have never seen this in Aikido and would like to see it in action. Thanks.

Mark J.
Hi Mark,
Yeah, I'm doing it quite frequently in my dojo(it became a routine for the students), but will not do video. It is not very aesthetic , but the real reason is that my instructor would kill me only by laughing at me (I'm not sure if such expression exist in English )

Nagababa

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Old 04-23-2009, 06:35 AM   #41
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Hi Mark,
Yeah, I'm doing it quite frequently in my dojo(it became a routine for the students), but will not do video. It is not very aesthetic , but the real reason is that my instructor would kill me only by laughing at me (I'm not sure if such expression exist in English )
SJ,
I am not asking for a video of you specifically just a video of where ukes are attacking as you describe in an Aikido context. I have not seen this in Aikido and would like too. Perhaps there is a video out there already that you know of that you approve of the uke. Thanks.

MJ
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:55 PM   #42
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Aikido training is in some way as doing a puzzle - ...

But you have to look much deeper that only surface to understand it really - technical training is only the beginning - kind of preparation of body and mind for more difficult task.
Hi Sz,
Could you please say a bit more about this....

Best,
Josh
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:23 PM   #43
Ron Tisdale
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

Hi Mark, long time no hear, speak, see or write! Been busy...but life is good.

Would you consider what you, Phil and Jeff did in the partner attack in that garage some time ago as "uke working together"? If so, would the evasions that I attempted qualify as "aikido"? How sucsessful do you think it was (at least until I got tired and was backed up against the wall )?

Best,
Ron

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Old 04-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #44
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Hi Mark, long time no hear, speak, see or write! Been busy...but life is good.

Would you consider what you, Phil and Jeff did in the partner attack in that garage some time ago as "uke working together"? If so, would the evasions that I attempted qualify as "aikido"? How sucsessful do you think it was (at least until I got tired and was backed up against the wall )?
Ron,
Good to hear from you. I have been a traveling fool lately but I have not been up your direction in awhile. Maybe in a couple months.

Sorry I do not recall the specific instance you mention above nor I am qualified to judge what is or is not Aikido. I was hoping to see an example from SJ with anyone as tori showing multiple ukes working together. I have never seen training done in Aikido that teaches people how to work as a team, hence I am interested to see.

There is more to coordinating attacks than simply attacking at the same time. Understanding coordinated movement, distance, body positioning and having a general strategy for everyone on the attacking team are all issues to be trained. I am not aware of many arts that actually teach and practice how to work together. Frankly this type of training is far more valuable for LEO's than the standard joint locking, blocking and fear building training they normally receive.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:58 PM   #45
Ron Tisdale
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

Hey, yah, busy busy in this economy is a good thing.

This was when we were in that dojo in the garage in North Wales...where it got cold as heck in the winter. We had on boxing gloves and were doing multiple attackers on one defender. But it was quite some time ago...

B,
R (I swear I'm getting alzheimers these days)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:28 PM   #46
Mark Jakabcsin
Dojo: Charlotte Systema, Charlotte, NC
Location: Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 207
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Re: YouTube: Video of my Sensei doing randori

Ron,
I remember the night you mentioned. That was good training and lots of fun. As I recall it was 3 on 1 and the 3 tended to work together to keep the 1 from cutting the angles. This could be due to the attacks not being traditional Aikido attacks but more of a brawling type attack. While that training is good it does have limitations or flaws like every method. Personally I am not a big fan of the gloves as they tend to adsorb the important lessons and both uke and tori tend to lose respect for a strike when they know they are hit by a big pillow. This is not to say the training does not have value, it most definitely does but bare hands ramp up the fear factor, which allows you to train slower but with greater intensity.

A fun night that I hope we get to do again.

Take care and I hope you have a great weekend,

Mark J.
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